Anna Sewell's Black Beauty was an immediate success on its publication in 1877, and has gone on to sell an estimated 50 million copies. Black Beauty is a horse with a fine black coat, a white foot and a silver star on his forehead. Seen through his eyes, the story tells of his idyllic upbringing and the hardship and cruelty he suffers subsequently ...
Anna Sewell's Black Beauty was an immediate success on its publication in 1877, and has gone on to sell an estimated 50 million copies. Black Beauty is a horse with a fine black coat, a white foot and a silver star on his forehead. Seen through his eyes, the story tells of his idyllic upbringing and the hardship and cruelty he suffers subsequently, before finding security and happiness in a new home. Black Beauty is one of the most popular children's books ever written.
This is one of the best horse stories of all time, it still rings true over a hundred years after it was written: horses haven't changed, even if the work they do is different now, and nor have the humans who deal with them. Every horse-loving child should read it.
My favourite edition of this favourite story is not the one illustrated but the Dent 1972 reprint with the superb illustrations by Lucy Kemp-Welsh. they add an extra dimension of reality to the horse. The binding is dark red fake leather and the book looks old-fashioned, so some youngsters might prefer a more modern edition. But no other edition has illustrations that are a patch on these.
Jul 17, 2009
I read this when I was in elementary school and the story has stayed with me ever since. So many scenes in the book have never left me and now in my early 20s I have not sat on a horse since I finished reading this book. It's hard to separate the horse characters in Ms. Sewell's book from actual horses and every time I see a horse, I have to wonder if the horse would appreciate me sitting on him or her.
A very powerful book and recommended for anyone, horse lovers or those indifferent to these elegant creatures.
Publishers Weekly, 1986-09-26 In this abridgement of Sewell's classic story, McKinley has managed nicely to retain Beauty's unique voice as well as the most-remembered stories, while making the text more accessible to younger readers. Jeffers's fine ink illustrations will satisfy even the most demanding of horse-lovers with her ability to capture each horse's personality. This version brings back the sharpness of the cruelty towards Beauty and his companions, and McKinley has rightfully retained the pain and the ugliness of some of the incidents. Children will still weep at the death of Ginger, and Jeffers's portrayal of the barn fire is quite frightening. It's an elegant edition, which will linger with readers until they are ready to tackle the original. (All ages
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